How To Build The Ultimate Small-Form-Factor Gaming PC



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  • Case/PSU Silverstone SG07 w/ 600W PSU $210   
  • Mobo Zotac H55ITX-A-E LGA1156 $165     
  • CPU Intel Core i7-870  $290    why? but oh ok..
  • Cooler Stock Intel cooler $0  
  • RAM Corsair TW3X4G1333C9A 4GB Kit DDR3/1333 $90 
  • Optical Drive Silverstone SOD01 Slimline DVD Combo Drive $85    
  • Hard Drive 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7,200rpm $180 GTFO -> $90 
  • Solid State Drive 120GB Corsair Force F120 $300  lol, but why?  NO -> $0 
  • GPU 1GB Gigabyte GTX N460OC-1G1 $230 
  • OS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM) $99  
  • Misc 90-degree SATA data cable and zip ties $4  





Okay, I get that Intel is your preferred platform BUT...

I can put together and AMD kit and have a screaming fast ITX form factor Gaming Rig with these components:

LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower - $120

ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe AM3 AMD 880G HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard  -$125

CORSAIR HX650w PSU - $120

AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb - $160

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $120

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX - $280

ASUS DRW-24B1ST - $17

XFX Radeon HD 5870 2GB - $380

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit - $100

Total =  $1422

Don't need a 90 degree SATA cable cause ASUS includes them. But since the ASUS MoBo only has 3 SATA connections I would go with the 600 GB Velociraptor which is more than enough room for the OS and any game you would play at a LAN Party. The Llian Li Tower has removable HDD bays top and bottom(in this scenario the lower bay) for the Uber monster 5870s' length. Boot speed is lost over function in this system. And 650w should be more than enough to run it all.

And for the money saved you could get a really nice monitor that makes your bros drool. The slim drive was a nice touch but standard Optical drives serve better functionality however. The price is just right as well. And if I want to I could pick up a H70 cooler and mount it to the top 120mm fan mount to offset the heat output from the 5870. And still have room to spare.

Some of us don't have $2k burning a hole in our pockets though. So the Velociraptor can be swapped for a reasonable 64mb Cache TB drive(Hitachi makes a nice one, or Samsung) the 5870 can be swapped out for a 44** series card to Hybrid XFire with the onboard Video as well.

You don't need the latest greatest Intel parts to make a solid gaming rig. In fact there are not many Games or Apps that take advantage of more than 2 or 3 cores so even the CPU can be dialed back and nobody would know the difference unless they had both systems running side by side. DDR5 is great and all but if you want that then swap out to the 5770 slimline card.




Spam is the bane of our existence; eradication is our goal.



calm down fellas, this website is just trying to sell some products.  go elsewhere for information, this here is an adsite



Damn you guys build expensive computers. Show us more awesome budget rigs like that $500 Crysis machine a couple years back. Anyone can throw together a $1500 machine-- it's not hard at all to buy high end parts. I'd be much more interested in seeing builds that don't cost so much but still perform well. 

Also, your comment form is terrible. It turns off Chrome AND FF spellcheck, right click menus don't work, and it keeps hanging up my browser.



Why a SSD on a budget PC ? It's not like not having one will affect gaming performance... SSDs are only for enthousiast PCs until they get a LOT cheaper and bigger. As for the HDD, why not a 500gb ? Way cheaper and it's enough for most people use.


500 GB WD CB HDD 7200 RPM, less than 70$ Canadian.

No SSD, -300$

You just saved 410$...

The only reason I would see to get a bigger HDD would be if you want to watch a lot of HD videos/movies but then, you probably want a bluray player...




How About How To Build The Ultimate Small-Form-Factor Video Editing PC? I know a lot of people use their computers for games, but a lot of us also use them for video editing since HD camcorders are becoming more popular. What's the best program to use to edit video and makea Blu-ray? What graphic card will help with editing the most? What kind of hard drive is the best to house the video you are working on? And can it fit into a small form factor case? This is what I want to know!



I think what he pieced together would serve the function you're asking about. After all he's got an i7-950 in that as well as a GTX460. About the only way you could do better would be to get a dedicated(GDDR5) Workstation Graphics card. And those are not cheap. A mid level WSG card can set you back at least $1000. Not sure that you would want something so small and then have something so wallet taxing in it getting degraded by the heat. Of course you could always go lower range if it's personal editing but you get what you pay for in this area.



Sorry; double post.



okay, but can it run Crysis?



It's an 1156 i7, so it can only take advantage of dual channel RAM.



Is it me or does it seem like the person who built this payed a little too much for the parts. For example, the Hard drive, listed as costing $180 is about $90 on newegg. And the SSD is about $240 on newegg. Also the graphics card in this setup should be no more than $200. Thats getting close to $200 that could have been saved. I also wonder if the fact that dual channel memory is being used with an i7 could be bringing down performance.



That extra 5 ms isn't going to make any difference in gameplay, it just gives you an excuse for sucking. "It wasn't my fault I'm playing over wireless." QQ



Yeah cuz lag only happens when you see it. 



True Lag can happen and you don't notice it. But I bet if you run dedicated WiFi the only time you notice this lag is when some doosh uses bots. Of course you're going to get owned. You're up against 4+ threads of CPU working in milliseconds what it takes you a second or more to accomplish.

Can you get anymore argumentative though?



Why not? It's a nice feature, and it's not like the board doesn't have a gigabit ethernet port anyway. I've played games on wifi for years and haven't noticed lag once.



Hmmm ? You have built 1700$ Gaming PC just  to get lag from WiFi connection ?  Genius !



My Gaming Rig is 100% WiFi on DSL. I don't notice any lag whatsoever.

Crosshair IV Formula

955 BE MBox(C3) Phenom II

8GB Corsair Dominator (Quad Channel) AMD Kit

XFX 5770 Juniper XT 

ASUS PCE-N13 300Mbps 802.11 b/g/n Wireless Adapter.


Now I could use a nicer Wireless Router, but if there is any lag I haven't seen it. I play on Steam quite a lot and my DL times for new games isn't long at all. I'd have to keep track but I don't think that I've had to wait longer than an hour to download a game.



Have you ever even tried playing games on wifi? If you never tested it then how can you bash it? There is a huge market for gaming laptops and they all have wi-fi in them. I personally play games on wi-fi and with wireless N, its a breeze. I even do wireless LANs since so many have wi-fi.



Why not go with a 6870 for  the same price, the performance is a good bit better than the 460 for the same price, and it consumes less power.



The 6850 hadn't come out when this story was written (it originally appeared in the magazine).



May I suggest building an audio/music making PC someday.

The computers musicians use are quite different than gaming PCs or even the graphics/video PC Loyd built a while ago. It's not all about sound quality anymore. In fact, that's not important at all when you're like me and you don't actually record anything. Many people make music completely digitally and never actually record audio.

It's all about fast machines with good audio interfaces that give you the least latency possible with nice stable drivers (official 64bit Win7 drivers usually).
Look on any forum that deals with music and computers and it's all about latency and making sure you have no other useless junk running on your computer.
For those who DO record audio on their machines it also helps to have a nice quiet computer of course with big fast drives and lots of inputs and outputs. Lately I've been hearing of people replacing their drives with SSDs because the huge bass in clubs messes with the gforce protection on regular drives.

There are companies that sell PCs optimized for music and some even stuff then inside keyboards like Open Labs but most people just build their own. 

I don't know if any of the regular MaxPC writers are into this kind of stuff but It would be nice if you could get someone who uses Ableton Live, Reason etc. to build you a 64bit Win7 MUSIC MAKING PC and write an article about it.

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